Tuesday night before I left to teach my night class I received some very sad news. One of the women who has been training with our group for the past 3 months was hit by a car while out jogging that morning. Thankfully, she will be fine, but she did break her shoulder and pelvis and she has a bit of recovery to do before she can run again.
I've been meaning to do this post for a while and hope you all take this advice seriously!
Run Against Traffic & Remember THE CAR ALWAYS WINS
Before our long run this past weekend Paul reminded us all that, when in doubt, the car wins. I don't care how obvious the car is when it slows down to stop at an intersection I'm at - I will not start to cross unless I have made eye contact with the driver.
Don't Run With Earphones In
Yeah - I said it. Just don't. Especially if your running alone.
Run With a Partner
Not only does running with someone make it more fun and help keep you accountable, but I think it significantly lowers your chances of having someone bother you. Also, it's nice to have two people keeping an eye out for cars, animals or other potentially bothersome events.
Carry your Phone (if possible) and I.D.
Not your actual drivers license or anything, but if you were struck by a car and laying on the ground unconscious it would be nice for the paramedics to know your name and who to contact.
Keep Your Route Private
Even though I share all of my workouts on twitter I never share the route's that I take. It's also extremely important to vary your routes up regularly. I run through the same general neighborhoods and I'm starting to get people who recognize me. A few weeks ago an older man was out walking his dog and, as I ran by, he said "Oh I just saw you run by my house this morning. Your always out so early!" This statement indicated to me that he knew part of my regular route and what time I'm normally on it. No bueno! I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, but imagine how many other people see me regularly run by their house at around the same time?
Be a One Wo/man Safety ArmyThis flashing clip-on light from Nathan can be seen from blocks away. I had to take a short break on the run Monday and my running partner had to be hone by a set time so she kept going. I stayed about half a mile behind her the rest of the run. Even in the pitch dark I could see her clearly thanks to the bouncing red light she had clipped on the back of her sports bra! Of all the safety gear I've seen if you run in the dark at all this would be the first thing I'd recommend purchasing. Keeping pepper spray with you as you run is somewhat controversial. The unfortunate thing with this is that it has the potential to spray everywhere, including your own face! They do sell gel based spray's that would be more accurate in hitting the target, but I haven't found any specifically designed to carry with you as you run. Because of the potential issues with pepper spray my vote for a more 'protective' piece of running safety gear would be this personal alarm system. This alarm works by pulling the pin out of the top which signals an extremely high-pitched alarm noise. It operates on the principle of surprise. If someone is attacking you and this alarm suddenly goes off they may be disoriented enough that you can (a) run away or (b) they'll flee knowing anyone in the area is likely to hear the noise and come see what's going on.
Do you have any other running safety tips?